Source El Espectador
“186 community leaders and human rights defenders killed since January 2016”
Just one day after the Human Rights Ombudsman, Carlos Alfonso Negret, announced that 52 community leaders and human rights defenders had been killed since the start of the year, there was yet another killing in Cauca department. According to El Espectador “Ni las alertas, ni las advertencias ni las estrategias de las autoridades han servido para evitar que más líderes sociales sean asesinados en el país”, (Neither alerts, nor warnings nor official strategies have helped to prevent the killing of community leaders and human rights defenders in the country”).
Héctor William Mina was a defender of the rights of the Afro-descendant community. He was a member of the Francisco Isaías Cifuentes Network of Human Rights Defenders, the Human Rights Commission of Marcha Patriotica, and was also president of the Civil Defence Board of the municipality of Guachene, Cauca.
At 11.45 on the morning of 14 July, he was having breakfast in the restaurant in the public park of Caloto, when 4 men surrounded his table, two on each side, and shot him several times. According to eye witnesses, after the attack Hector ran into the interior of the restaurant where people called for help. One man took him to the central hospital on his motor bike. On arrival at the hospital it was decided that he needed to be transferred to the Clínica Valle del Lili but he died from his injuries while en route.
According to the Ombudsman, there have been 186 killings of community leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia since January 2016. This latest killing brings to 53 the number of such killings so far in 2017, while there have been more that 500 instances of threats. Most attacks on human rights defenders occur in the departments of Cauca, Antioquia, Norte de Santander and Córdoba.